Runway Report: Ralph & Russo AW16 Couture

The invitation to Ralph & Russo’s Fall 2016 Haute Couture collection featured fuchsia and blush colored flowers against a navy blue background – a print that was echoed in the silk chiffon fabric of the brand’s first look, signaling the start of the flora-and-fauna-themed parade of formal eveningwear.  Blossoms and butterflies adorned the majority of options presented by Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo, whether in the form of hand-appliquéd floral ruffles, painted prints, glass bead embroidery or actual three-dimensional silk butterflies and dragonflies.

While the majority of looks consisted of long, dramatic gowns, there was a grand variety in volume within that category of couture. Initial exits featured trains that trailed the ground or dramatically billowed behind the models, but later looks incorporated second-skin tulle bodices or body suits, or were cropped to micro-mini length.

Also grand in variety were the stylistic references used by Ralph & Russo.  Audrey Hepburn-esque tweed dresses were topped with hats recalling 1960s chic. Floppy-brimmed millinery, smocked dresses and fringe added a sense of 1970s bohemia, and floral prints from 19th century Italian tapestries were mentioned as a source of inspiration in the show notes.

After a relatively cool and feminine palette of pinks, blues and lilacs, a strong case for winter white was made with the streak of pristine, snowy looks that rounded out the end of the show. These were followed by the climactic apparition of a heavily embellished fishtail wedding gown.

About the Author

A fashion stylist, event designer, and style writer, Lucas Somoza has a keen eye for all things beautiful. Based in Paris, Lucas regularly collaborates with Olivia throughout Paris Fashion Week, producing editorials and contributing reviews of designer collections. You can follow Lucas on Instagram at @LucasSomoza.